How wise is the SitG crowd?

I’ve been working for days on a spreadsheet for my publisher, listing not only my media contacts and influential acquaintances — all of whom will receive advance copies of my book in hopes that they will read it and subsequently say good things to thousands of book-buying citizens — but also renowned parents. The thought is, since this is a book about faith and raising children and just trying to get by in life when the whole world seems sometimes like it wants to chew you up, that we might send copies of the book to said personages in hopes that, by virtue of being parents, they’ll be inclined to give the book a read and then perhaps mention it to a few thousand of their closest friends.

So here I sit, hunched over my laptop in our luxurious wooded headquarters at an undisclosed location in the heartland. It occurs to me that I should read the list to Wife, in case she has an idea or two. When I finish, the woman who took all of two economics classes in her undergraduate and graduate careers tells me, the political science PhD who often teaches economics concepts, that I ought to ask you, the brilliant masses, for your ideas. Harness the power of the crowd, in other words.

I hate when she has a good idea that I should have thought of first.

So what do you think? Who are famous parents who come to mind when you think of the intersection between faithful striving and dedicated parenting?


  1. israel mckinney

    I got a chance to meet with Steve and Candice Watters while visiting with Focus On The Family this last week. I’m new to writing the dad perspective, occasionally contributing to my wife’s blog. I was directed to your site as Steve enjoys reading your posts and suggested your book for me to read. I think my wife might be in the group your wife suggested to you “intersection between faithful striving and dedicated parenting”. Her blog is Anyway, I’m enjoying your site and perspective and may our God continue to bless you and your family for His glory.

  2. Chrish

    John and Noelle Piper? I like ’em anyway. He has kids, and he’s famous.

    You could try Brad and Angelina… though they’re not really into “faithful striving,” but maybe that could be what your book helps with?

  3. Daniel

    I second Steve and Candice Watters. After SitG (<—shameless attempt to get a pre-release copy of your book), is my favorite website, and although it aims at the 20-something crowd, it has a large number of young parents (like my wife and I) in its audience.

    And although I’m not generally well-known outside the walls of my house, I do have some influence in my church, which is in the midst of a mini baby-boom…

  4. Marc V

    Chrish: IIRC, Tony Woodlief is not a HUGE fan of John Piper.

    I don’t know famous parents, as it seems to be a crapshoot on they type of child God blesses the parents with. There are some families where you have hardworking/caring parents with a few good kids and one who goes on to be criminal. All I’ve figured out for now is it’s one day at a time, tackling each episode as they arise, and thank God they have short memories and seem to forgive/forget mistakes you make. We all make them.

    For a book “give-away”, I would suggest seeing the set up at Michael Hyatt’s (CEO-Thomas Nelson) site. Heck, he has an excellent blog that’s worth checking out a few times a week [], although he could be considered in the “enemy camp” if you’re with Zondervan now ;).

  5. Glen Davis

    I can’t think of anyone truly famous – but I can think of two parents who might get more people to buy your book.

    Mark Batterson has a huge blog audience of Christian leaders and sometimes mentions books that he finds helpful.

    Sue Aughtmon has had two books published that target the “stressed-out moms with kids” category and she writes a very entertaining blog: – she frequently plugs stuff that she likes.

    Finally, I would seriously consider throwing some books at the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.

  6. Beth

    None of the faithful parents I know are “famous”. They’re just doing the best they can day in and day out, which doesn’t tend to yield much glory.

    Looking forward to reading the book…preordered my copy last week. If it’s as good as I anticipate it will be, I’ll recommend it to my respectably-sized circle of parently friends.

  7. Patrice Brink

    How about Jenny Sanford (Gov. Mark Sanford’s amazing ex-wife)? She has four sons, has relied heavily on her faith to get through her own recent troubles, and certainly has a lot of friends and admirers.

  8. Marie

    Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience
    Her much-read blog is one many parents go to for encouragement as she humbly, genuinely writes about her faith and along with her husband, Daryll, is raising 6 kids. She offers excellent book reviews from time to time.

  9. Ellen

    I’m a Mothers of Preschoolers small group leader, and I’m thinking you might be able to get some interest in your book by letting them include an excerpt in Momsense, their monthly magazine for all MOPs members. That would be quite a lot of moms reading you. I’d contact MOPS International…

  10. Brian

    I’d say my wife and I fit your description. Except for the famous part. But fame is relative right? Within our own circles we’re all quite well known. 🙂

  11. Big Reader

    Again with the “not famous” responses, but a Christian bookstore CEO who does all the books for the Coalition for Christian Outreach & the CS Lewis Institute is Brian Borger of Hearts & Minds books. Contact info is on his website.
    Because of his sales reach, could be a good eastern US contact?

  12. Debbie

    Andy & Catherine Crouch, Tim & Kathy Keller, Winn & Miska Collier (,…some famous, some not as much…all with hearts alive and engaged in the work of living and loving God and family.

    Since I’ve never responded to your posts before, I just want to take a minute to say thank you. Thank you for wrestling with hard questions and offering your questions and observations about life and God and your very own world via your writing. I often laugh out loud or am moved to tears by your reflections. So thank you.

  13. Jenn

    I don’t know if she qualifies as “famous,” and I’m sure you’ve thought of her already, since I first learned of her from your blog. However, I would highly recommend Rachel Balducci. Aside from (very non-famous) people I know in real life, she is absolutely the first person who comes to mind when I think of the intersection between faithful striving and dedicated parenting.

  14. Ed Chinn

    George H. W. & Barbara Bush. Archie Manning & his wife. Al & Tipper Gore. Gene Stallings and his wife. Angela Basset & Courtney Vance.

  15. Candice Watters

    Hi Tony,
    Israel’s right–his wife’s blog is the way to go! She has a tremendously dedicated, loyal (and large) following and is in the trenches of parenting even now. We can talk more details if you like.

  16. mcs

    Del Tackett

    JRR Tolkein

    Gary/Diane Gensch and Gary’s brothers

    Paul David Tripp

    Doug and Bealle Phillips

  17. Berg

    I would recommend Dr. Ben Kim ( He has a website, blog and facebook with large followings. While his primary focus is on holistic health issues, he frequently writes about faith, family (he and his wife homeschool their two boys), and fostering creativity in one’s self and others. He frequently recommends positive books, music and movies.

    Thank you for your great blog that touches on so many facets of life and conjures up so many emotions. After reading one of your WSJ op ed pieces, I checked out SiTG and have been faithfully following since. As a new parent, I look forward to reading your book. Please keep the inspiring works coming!

  18. TFM

    How about Brad Wilcox. He’s a professor at UVA, director of National Marriage Project and dad of 7. He has an enormous amount of influence in the Virginia area and is a frequent speaker on parenting.

  19. Tony

    Many thanks for all your ideas and emails. Inundated with things right now, but will follow up and respond soon. It’s nice to know so many thoughtful and intelligent people hang out here. Classes up the place.

  20. C$

    These folks, Tony: Six Seeds began with one family attempting to instill the values of generosity, hard work, and service in the midst of busy lives. John and Jean Kingston, who live in the Boston area, found raising their four children more complicated than their own parents’ efforts many years ago. Today, children live with more “stuff,” choices, media options and demands on their time than ever before. John is an Executive Vice President of Affiliated Managers Group, and Jean is a Penn graduate, a “household manager,” and a writer. As a couple, they wanted to instill virtue in their kids, even in the midst of the competing demands of work, soccer games, little league games, and church functions. In the spirit of “we don’t know exactly what we’re doing, but let’s give it a go!”, they formed SixSeeds in 2006. Quickly, they realized they weren’t the only parents struggling with teaching their kids how to lead others-centered lives. Over the next few months, many families across the country began attaching themselves to the idea. Mark and Linda Basnage, friends from college living in the San Francisco Bay Area, helped develop the first public materials for the organization. The bicoastal dimensions of SixSeeds grew as Curtis and Jody Chang out in Silicon Valley joined the efforts. Since the first small seeds were planted in the hearts of their closest peers, however, SixSeeds has really grown. Now a national non-profit organization, SixSeeds has a signature family-sized service project, a weekly e-zine devoted to bringing good stories home, and partnering friends all around the world.

  21. Patrick

    What about Drew Brees and his wife? Recently in the news quite a bit both for their parenthood and their faith.

  22. Emily

    I don’t know how much time these parents have left for reading (even books that are as riveting and satisfying as I anticipate yours to be), but Brad and Jen Murray are Christian parents of quadruplet four-year-old boys who have a popular blog at: I imagine they would be very interested in a book about the intersection of faith and parenting, especially if it provides guidance on shepherding four growing boys!

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